Wednesday, 15 June 2016

What is a Root Canal?

A root canal surgery is an outpatient procedure that is typically used when a dentist needs to repair or save a tooth that is badly decayed or infected. Unsurprisingly, decay of this degree can be very painful to the patient, and a successful root canal can address this issue.

During a root canal, both the pulp and the nerve of the infected tooth is removed. Then, the dentist thoroughly cleans the inside of the tooth and seals it, so no bacteria or food particles can get in and cause infection. Without treatment, the decayed tooth can infect the surrounding tissue within the mouth and cause a potentially serious infection or a painful abscess.

We often refer to this surgery as a root canal because it perfectly describes the natural divot---or cavity---within the center of a tooth. The pulp chamber---or simply the pulp--is the softer area nestled in the tooth's root canal, where the nerve lies.  The pulp is what is removed, cleaned and sealed during the outpatient procedure. You can get more info about it on this webpage.

It may seem odd, but a tooth's nerve is not vital to its health. It can function perfectly fine without a nerve after it has emerged from the gums, which typically happens sometime in our adolescence. A healthy nerve's only function is to provide the sensation of hot or cold.